“The first time I put Mary Carol out at the high school after the 1970 court orders were implemented and saw the mixed crowd on the sidewalks, I cried all the way home, knowing that never again would our schools be the same as we had known them and feeling, too, that the black kids would never know the pride they had had in their own school.
“Mary Carol did not want to leave GHS and we felt that she would be better off graduating there, so after finishing her sophomore year she decided to finish school in the summer following her junior year. In the spring  she was awarded a full-tuition scholarship at Mississippi College and made her plans to enter school there in 1971. She had mixed feelings about giving up her senior year and later has regretted that she missed that.
“I went to a pep rally at Greenwood High School in the fall of 1970. The students who had stayed at GHS were doing their best to put on a good show while the black students sat in a group in the stands looking lost. Some of the girls who had been cheerleaders the previous year but who were now at Pillow came back for the pep rally. They looked sad, and I heard one say, ‘I wish I were back.’ It was hard to say which ones I was the sorriest for because it was evident no one was really very happy.”
Ed. note: Once again, this slips into the realm of personal experience. I distinctly remember that day that Sara dropped me off ( as I never had a car in high school, much to my sorrow) and I headed for the breezeway where everyone hung out until the first bell rang. There were little knots of black students scattered about, very quiet and looking very, very worried. There were no incidents and no words even passed, so far as I was aware. As we entered the main building, there was sawdust and concrete dust in the air where walls had been knocked down over the previous days, and I think that’s when it really hit me that nothing would ever again be the same. My most vivid memory, maybe not that day but within the first week of full desegregation, is of sitting in my homeroom Biology class, listening to the clang of lockers up and down Wing B as students cleaned out their books in anticipation of leaving for Pillow. Each locker slamming was like a kick to the gut, worsened by the sound of laughter, as if those leaving were headed off on some sort of permanent lark. As I left class that day, I ran into a childhood friend who had never had much to do with me, even though we were neighbors. She stopped me in the hallway, glared at me and demanded, “I guess you’re leaving, too?” “Hell, no,” I answered, and I meant that with the intensity that only a sixteen-year-old can muster. As the day went on, it became obvious who was bailing out and who was going to hang in there, and those of us left quickly and firmly decided that we weren’t going to let GHS as we knew it vanish. We grew closer, leaped a lot of unnecessary hurdles and made some endearing friendships with the black kids, who had truly gotten a raw deal. All in all, it wasn’t a bad two years, but after watching more than one teacher walk out on us in the middle of class, headed for the security of Pillow Academy, I decided the wisest course would be to take that generous offer from MC and move on after my junior year. Forty years later, I still regret that that was necessary. And I am grateful that my own children were never pawns in the games that the courts played with our lives and our education in those early years of the ’70s.